Featured Artist Member
Featured Artist Member honors the artist members of Berkeley Art Center, highlighting the breadth and variety of mediums, processes and concepts engaged by our community. Only artists whose memberships are current will be considered. To become a member, please sign up HERE. To fill out our Artist Member Informational Survey , click HERE.
Featured Artist June 2016
Born in Iran in 1962, Yari Ostovany moved to the United States at the age of 16 and pursued his studies in Art first at the University of Nevada - Reno and then at the San Francisco Art institute where he received his MFA in 1995. He was based in Cologne from 2000-2004, and since 2011 has been residing in the San Francisco Bay Area again.
Ostovany has worked, taught, traveled and exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally, and is the recipient of Sierra Arts Endowment Grant, Craig Sheppard Memorial Grant and Sierra Nevada Arts Foundation Grant. Recent exhibitions include Vorres Gallery in San Francisco, Haleh Gallery in Berg am Starnberger See, Germany, Thomas & Paul Gallery in London, UK and Aria Gallery in Tehran, Iran.
My work is process based and improvisational, straddling the nebulous realm between the mystical and the mysterious and thus, to me, the spiritual. A personal journey of exploration through the alchemy of paint, color, light, texture and the poetics of space.
I am interested in the crossing point of the unconscious, the personal and the collective, and energies that come to surface from the interplay of primordial contradictory forces—those within and without—on the surface of the painting. An unfolding evolutionary process through densely layered organic compositions made over time with layers upon layers of thick and thin washes and glazes, luminous and opaque. Often starting with calligraphic gestural marks, solid forms which then dissolve as the layers explode and implode, are added, rubbed out, re—applied, scoured into and scraped away. Going back and forth until another dimension—a sense of resonance— arises, when the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts, where forms and marks become metaphors for a transcendent reality.
I see abstraction as representational insofar as it is a representation of a psychic state, not an external reality. The trajectories in contemporary painting in which my work belongs range from Abstract Expressionism in the west to Persian and Taoist/Zen aesthetic sensibilities in the east and other perennial visionary paths of wisdom.
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